How the Christchurch district energy scheme works

By District Energy posted 26 days ago

  

Will Harvie, Stuff

Summary

A district energy scheme has just been turned on at Ngāi Tahu's new development in central Christchurch. WILL HARVIE explains the engineering of energy efficiency.

It was supposed to a "world-leading" response to the earthquakes and demolitions in Christchurch.

It would be a "district energy scheme" that could link up to 1000 buildings in the central business district to an efficient electricity generation and heating and cooling system that burned renewable waste materials and biomass. It would make rebuilt Christchurch better after the trauma of the earthquakes.

It didn't happen how the dreamers hoped. Instead most property developers went their own way and installed heating and cooling plants that serviced only their own new buildings.

Until last month, there hasn't been an actual district energy scheme – one that crosses streets – and links electricity generation and heating and cooling systems in different buildings and developments. Now such a scheme has been switched on.

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